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Evan Rodriguez, NFL Draft 2012: The Versatile Fullback

The fullback position is a dying art. More often than not we see shotgun passing schemes, or one-back sets in the NFL that lead to the position being viewed as antiquated. While lead blockers are still valuable, it's nothing like we saw in the NFL as recently as even 10 years ago. With the exception of Mike Alstott there haven't been many FBs who were seen as solid offensive weapons, but Temple FB Evan Rodriguez looks like he could be the kind of weapon that could pull the FB position into the 21st century.

We're accustomed to seeing FBs used as short-yardage carriers on 3rd, and short- but for the Owls this season Rodriguez proved he could be a viable threat out of the backfield. You wouldn't expect to see a 6'1", 239 lb fullback put up the kind of numbers he did in Indianapolis, but it was impressive; A 4.58 in the forty, as well as shuttle and cone drills that rivaled most RBs. In short: he had a great week.

I mentioned before that he's a 21st century FB, and I say this because it's Rodriguez's skill as a receiver that really sets him apart from others at the position. His ability goes beyond the standard swing and screen passes as he transcends the position. In 2011 he finished the season with 479 receiving yards all while putting up a solid 13.7 yards per catch.

Rodriguez isn't a guy who's going to get drafted high. However, he's got the potential to fill a number of roles on an NFL offense in both the run and pass game, can create some mismatches as a pass catcher and develop into a core special teams guy early on.

National Football Post

It's that ability to cause mismatches that will pay dividends to the team who drafts him. In the open field with just a CB or S to beat it's hard to imagine he wont just lower the shoulder and beat them. For the Atlanta Falcons he may be a luxury, but Rodriguez would be a much needed wrinkle to add to the offense. He would be an x-factor who would need to be accounted for, and with a strong receiver like Julio Jones also on the field, a defense would need to pick their poison on who to blanket with a safety.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.